Microbial Diversity and Enzymes in Ikaite Columns: A Cold and Alkaline Environment in Greenland

  • Jan K. VesterEmail author
  • Jeanette E. Lylloff
  • Mikkel A. Glaring
  • Peter Stougaard
Part of the Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology book series (COLE, volume 27)


The ikaite columns in the Ikka Fjord, SW Greenland, constitute a cold (4 °C), alkaline (pH 10.4), and low-salinity (0.9 %) environment, and they harbor a microbial community adapted to this polyextreme environment. 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses show that the community is rich in new species and that Proteobacteria are dominating. So far, three new species have been characterized and described in detail: Rhodonellum psychrophilum, Arsukibacterium ikkense, and Alkalilactibacillus ikkensis. The bacteria produce a diversity of enzymes, including proteases, lipases, β-galactosidases, and phosphatases. These enzymes are adapted to the polyextreme environment and have application potentials in industrial and biotechnological processes. In this chapter, the research on the microbial population of the ikaite columns that has been conducted over the past decade will be reviewed.


Soda Lake Metagenomic Analysis Triacylglycerol Lipase Alkaliphilic Bacterium Psychrotolerant Bacterium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan K. Vester
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jeanette E. Lylloff
    • 1
  • Mikkel A. Glaring
    • 1
  • Peter Stougaard
    • 1
  1. 1.Section for Genetics and Microbiology, Department of Plant and Environmental SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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